Yet again, on and off the field machinations failed to disappoint, as fans returned to Stadiums for the 2021 Season.

As we watched Drogheda United kick off against Waterford United via our PC screens; many season ticket holders were wondering if they would ever get to see the inside of a stadium in 2021. Shamrock Rovers surprised no one, as the club was awash with financial resources once again had the best first XI as they retook the title, finishing an impressive 12 Points ahead of the second placed St. Patrick’s Athletic.

The Inchicore side defied the naysayers by clinching the runners-up spot, with Liverpool Loanee Vitezslav Jaros excelling between the posts. Sligo and Derry fans were no doubt delighted that their sides managed to notch a European spot, but it was a season to truly forgot for Bohemians, as the highly fancied Dubliners finished 5th and missed out on Europe, as well as losing the Cup Final to St. Pats.

At the lower end of the table, Longford endured an Annus horribilis, with a meagre 15 points gained out a possible 108. It was quite the free fall for Waterford United too, as two managerial sackings could not stave off relegation, as stories emanated from the club that were more suited to the pages of OK! Magazine than FourFourTwo.

Here is the GeoDirectory club-by-club review of the 2021 Airtricity League Premier Division Season.

To read our predictions at the start of the season, please click here.


The Foylesiders had a steady if at times unspectacular season, however their fan base were ecstatic at seasons end as the side clinched the final European spot in the league, beating Dundalk in the last game, to finish 2 point ahead of Bohemians in fifth.

A squad with a top scorer (Jamie McGonagle) netting just 8 goals all season, would not normally get a team places, but steady she goes would best describe Derry’s season. Nine times Derry nudged three points by winning by a solitary goal. The fact that they will now have the riches of Europe to fill their coffers has their fans hoping exciting signings will be making their way to the Brandywell and that they might finish even higher next season.



With central midfielder Gary Deegan providing a steely presence in the middle of the park, the Boynesiders finished the season just 5 points away from the relegation playoff spot.
A 3-2 win against the much fancied Bohemians along with the 2-1 win against fierce rivals Dundalk proved crucial at seasons end. Fans of the Drogs will be hoping they can hold onto Goalkeeper David Odomuso as they look forward to another season of watching their side in top flight action.



Dundalk very much flattered to deceive, only managed to finished 6th in the league, a miserable campaign, compared to what the Lilywhites fans have become accustomed to in the last few years.

Two years ago Dundalk finished top of the table with a massive 86 point haul. Their points haul this season was about half that as they only managed to rack up 48 points on the board. As many a neutral fan had predicted - having so many foreign players with no experience of playing in Ireland before this season; lead to a disjoined side that seemed, at times, very much at 6’s and 7’s on the pitch.

The farce that saw Filippo Giovagnoli sacked mid-season and his predecessor Vinny Perth brought back to the dugout, certainly did not help matters. On the European front the Louth side fared somewhat better as they saw off Levidia Tallinn of Estonia, before an astounding performance in Holland saw them earn a 2-2 draw against much fancied Vitesse Arnheim, to whom they narrowly lost 2-1 in the 2nd Leg.  With the U.S. owners bought out by a local consortium, locals now hope a turbulent ship will now be steadied and that rumours that many of the foreign squad will be replaced by proven quality local talent, poached from the likes of St. Pats and Shamrock Rovers etc.




The Alchemist extraordinaire Ollie Horgan once again weaved his magic and built a tight, fight-to-the -last-drop side, who made Finn Park quite the fortress and a place opposition teams dreaded having to visit. Weaving a mixture of experienced players such as defender David Webster and youthful diamonds in the rough, such as Canadian U-23 International Kosovar Sadiki, ensured the Donegal men beat the relegation trap door – just about.

If ever there was a team fans’ of other sides would have a soft spot for, it is definitely The Harps, such is the respect Horgan garners across the board.




If ever there was a season to forget, for Longford Town’s fans - this was surely it. It was a sack very much of coal, as the fans of “de town” ready themselves for another season back in the first division having amassed a derisory 15 points out of a possible 108 over 36 games.

A shock 1-0 win over Dundalk was a mere blip in a season that never came to life, as the midlanders struggled to find any sort of rhythm. Their fans will be hoping the slate can be completely cleaned come next spring, as the club attempts to plot a return to the Premier League for the 2023 Season.




As almost all pundits had predicted before the start of the season, the now Tallaght based side swept all before them (well Bohemian FC aside) as they galloped to an impressive title win with 18 points to spare over 2nd placed St. Patrick’s Athletic.

Financier Dermot Desmond’s sizable injection of funds ensured the Hoops had an embarrassment of squad riches, with the capture of Danny Mandriou and Seán Hoare in particular proving inspired. With the ship further steadied and a bigger wind in their sails, Stephen Bradley’s side had the knack of finding the net against the run of play, as they garnered the sort of one goal wins that befit a well organised side.

Danny Mandroiu and Graham Burke, with 15 and 11 goals each, were the catalyst to another gallop to the top of the table, as the club cemented another league title success. It was a mixed bag with regards to results in Europe, a classy win over Albanian side KF Tueta Durres had Hoops fans confidently predicting an easy time against FC flora of Estonia, but a 5-2 aggregate loss was very unexpected for sure.

While fans egos will also have been slightly bruised at being knocked out of the FAI Cup by arch rivals Bohemians, winning the league is a far bigger prize to capture and well they will celebrate doing the League Double, for some time yet.




Sligo were only 7th in the goals scored charts, but still managed to claim a very impressive 3rd  place finish at season’s end.

A tightly organised unit whom, despite being found wanting when it came to goal scoring chances, ensured the door at the other end was tightly shut. The ‘Bit o’ Red’ turned the tactic of grinding out results into a fine art, as their patient build up play saw them notch up 57 points as they once again come knocking on Europe’s door.
Such is the job manager Liam Buckley has done at the Showgrounds, some St. Patrick’s Athletic fans were calling for him to be reinstated at Richmond Park, where he held forth in the dugout for 6 years from 2012-2018.

Veteran defensive midfielder Greg Bolger was an inspired signing as he formed the spine of a robust midfield, while the darting runs of Walter Figueira down the wing caused opposition defences no end of problems. On the European front the club will undoubtedly be disappointed to have lost against FH Iceland, a side they were highly fancied to - and really should have - beat. Given the smaller budget the North Western side has, compared to most of their rivals; their fans will regard a 3rd place finish as a very good day at the office indeed.




Boy, oh boy did we get it so wrong in our prediction as to how the season would pan out for the Inchicore side.

Stephen Donnelly’s side roared like a well-oiled engine as they powered their way to an fantastic 2nd place finish, defying the predictions of many in the process. With on-loan (now gone back to Liverpool) Czech underage international Goalkeeper Vitezslav Jaros in scintillating form, many an opposition striker was seen with hands to head, wondering how he managed to keep their shot or header out; as time and time again, the tall man from Príbram performed gravity defying acrobatics in front of goal.

Fans of The Saints would love to see him come back on another loan deal, but time will tell. As many an opposition side launched another raid on the Pat’s goal, the name Sam Bone was uttered by the match commentator, time and time again, as the 23 year-old once more foiled another attack; with another polished performance that belied his young 23 years.

Loanee Alfie Lewis did his chances of moving up the West Ham United pecking order no harm, as netted 3 times in 18 swashbuckling performances in the centre of the park for the Richmond Park side. While he will now be returning to London, supporters of ‘The Saints’ will not be too worried, as Robbie Benson and Chris Forrester also played starring roles in Midfield, as they scored 5 and 8 goals each.

They also provided many pivotal assists to Ronan Coughlan and Billy King up front, as both hit the back of the net 7 times each over the campaign. Winning the FAI Cup at a nearly full and electric Aviva Stadium was quite the icing on the cake, in a season that was a very good innings from the Dublin 8 side indeed.



Take a lack of any real talent in your squad and mix it with generous helpings of crazy off the field shenanigans and what do you bake?  A team that is staring at first division football next season.

A haul of 88 Yellow Cards and 7 Red, further outlines the problems the RSC side endured, as the side failed to find any sort of coherency throughout the season. Things looked to be so bright at the start of the season as former Republic of Ireland legend Kevin Sheedy accepted the managerial role, with the also vastly experienced Mike Newell as his assistant. This duo proved to be anything but dynamic, as they departed the South East after just 9 games.

Marc Bircham then took over the reins and improved things to some extent, with ‘The Blues’ notching up wins such as beating Bohemians twice in the league. Then, just as the former 17th capped Canadian international had thought his feet were now firmly under the table, he too was shown the door. The manner in which he was sacked – via text message (and allegedly over a row about not playing the club owners son) and it also being just says before a seismic play-off decider against UCD, had the sports press ablaze.

While vastly experienced goalkeeper Brian Murphy pulled off some exceptional saves during the campaign, there are only so much shots one can stop, as a leaky defence was found wanting time and time again. A lack of experienced campaigners in the squad was rather telling as The Crystal County Side finished in 9th place with an unwanted goal difference of -20.

A 2-1 defeat against UCD has consigned the team back to the first division and with some half decent young players in the underage setup, their fans will be hoping they can make the step up to senior level and fire them back into the Premier division for the 2023 Season.




Ever hear about the football club who were top scorers in the league but only finished 5th? You will now. Yes, this is the head scratching reality that befell the side located nearest to GeoDirectory HQ - Bohemian FC.

A bumper crop of high pedigree signings in Mid-Season had Gypsies fans dreaming of a very successful season ahead; instead they endured quite a famine at seasons end. Georgie Kelly’s sizzling 25 goal top of the scoring charts haul, was very much tempered by a catalogue of defensive slip ups. The Phibsborough side ship 46 goals in total, as they slipped up more times than Frank Spencer on a building site.

For many matches, Keith Long’s side took quite some time to get going; in many instances it led to the Red & Black conceding early goals as defensive lapses once again saw the opposition gifted gilt edged chances they were only too happy to convert. But for the outstanding performances of goalkeeper of the year James Talbot, things might have got a lot worse.

Having only one experienced out and out striker in the squad was brutally exposed when Kelly was injured towards the end of the season. While his stand-in oromise Omichere showed a lot of promise (pardon the pun), his inexperience showed at crucial junctures, as he failed to find the target with gilt edged chances. The wonder goal he netted against Derry in the Brandywell, shows that the the Speed Demon who oft leaves defenders for dust, is improving his all-round game; the 21 Year old is far from the polished product at present.

At times it seemed like the Dalymount Park side were trying to walk the ball into the back of the net, when pathways for a shot outside the box presented itself. Cue many clumps of hair on the Dalymount seats.

In contrast, the club turned on the style in Europe, where they defeated Stjarnan of Iceland and Dudelange of Luxembourg to setup a clash with Greek Giants PAOK. The Thessaloniki side – Whose wage bill was 9/10 times that of their Dublin Rivals – were stunned in the first leg in Dublin, as Bohemians recorded a memorable 2-1 win.The 35c heat a week later in the Second Leg in northern Greece, proved too much as the Dublin 7 side lost 2-0; bowing out of Europe, but with their heads firmly held high in the process.  A 1-1 Draw away to Sligo in their last game of the season, saw the Gypsies finish 5th in the table and badly needing to win the FAI Cup if they were to grab that final coveted European spot. Losing the final to St. Pats means the club will be not playing in Europe next season, a scenario that would have been inconceivable to Bohs fans 9 months ago.

And now, seasons end is here, to 2021 we pull the final curtain. To all we’ll say it clear, an enthralling season we witnessed, of that we’re certain; For the fans it was quite a year, as they travelled along each and every highway; And more, much more than this, they can’t wait for February.

Let us know what you think of this season and our pre-season predictions on Twitter!

Posted: 16/12/2021 11:37:54